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Dean of Students Office

Loss of an Osprey

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) should be informed in the event of a student’s serious illness, injury, or death. You can contact the DOS office via email, phone, or by submitting a Student Referral to our Care Services Team.

The Dean of Students Office will implement a set of procedures developed to ease the burden on family members who are acting on behalf of the student when the student is unable to do so. Additionally, these procedures help to ensure a smooth process during the many transactions that are required when a student suddenly departs the University.

When the University is notified that has student died, becomes seriously ill, or is seriously injured, the DOS will ensure that the following steps are taken:

  • Speaks with the family in response to the requests of the family member.
  • Verifies the person’s full name and identity.
  • Notifies any resource on campus to which the family has been referred.
  • Notifies the appropriate offices and individuals to fulfill their responsibilities according to the established protocol.
  • In the case of a prolonged illness or significant injury, contacts the student’s instructors to determine the student’s ability to successfully complete the course or to obtain a grade of Incomplete. If neither is possible, to work with the family to request a medical withdrawal.
  • Follows up with the family on any matters where further contact is necessary.


Notification of a student’s serious injury, illness or death should be made to the Dean of Students Office. There are various ways to contact and notify the DOS office, which ever is best for you:

Reporting Form: Student Referral Form


Phone: (904) 620-1491

To honor a Fallen Osprey, share a name or memory, please visit the Fallen Osprey page.

Additional resources are also available to support our community.

Supportive Measures

Care Services

Our Care Services Team will identify, intervene and mediate students experiencing distress. They respond to various situations, including: physical, psychological, academic and substance misuse/abuse. Our Team is trainied to create a healthy and safe campus utilizing our CARE Case Management services and by connecting with other campus partners through our SOS Committee. 

Addressing the growing and changing needs of students in a proactive, centralized, coordinated, and developmental manner allows the student to focus on their health and academic success. 

More information can be found on our Care Services page.

Medical Withdrawals

Offered through the Dean of Students Office, students who present with a severe or pervasive medical condition, as confirmed in writing by a medical physician, that renders them incapable of completing their courses may elect to apply for a Medical Withdrawal.

To be eligible for a Medical Withdrawal, a student must provide documentation of an illness or injury which was not previously known to the student, or which was believed to have been treated and resolved. The student must also provide evidence of having experienced an escalation of symptoms and documented evidence of having received treatment during the semester for which they are seeking the withdrawal.

More information can be found here: Dean of Students Office, Medical Withdrawals.

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center mission is to enhance students' total educational experience by providing a confidential and supportive environment where student concerns can be shared and explored. Center services assist students with their personal development and enhance their potential for academic success.

The Counseling Center provides mental health services to the university community, including assessments and referrals, individual and group counseling, and crisis intervention to currently enrolled UNF students; additionally, the Counseling Center provides consultation and outreach services to faculty, staff, parents, and students.

New Clients: Appointment Request Form

24-Hour Support Line: (904) 620-2606, Opt. 2

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm


Caring for Ospreys

College is time for preparing students to cope with changes, challenges, and for a life full of accomplishments. The unexpected and or sudden loss of student can be jarring and can impact the campus community as whole. Following a Loss of an Osprey, responses to the loss will vary, and manifest in various ways.

Common grief responses can include:

  • Shock, Disbelief, or Denial
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Anger
  • Periods of Sadness
  • Disruption in sleep or eating habits

Coping with the loss of a loved one can bring intense feelings of grief, and while there is no way to avoid these feelings, there are healthy ways to come to terms with our loss.


Bereavement is the grief and mourning experience following the death of someone important to you. Whether it’s a close friend, spouse, partner, parent, child, or other relative, the death of a loved one can feel overwhelming. You may experience waves of intense and very difficult emotions, ranging from profound sadness, emptiness, and despair to shock, numbness, guilt, or regret.

Bereavement isn’t limited to emotional responses, either. Grief at the death of a loved one can also trigger physical reactions, including weight and appetite changes, difficulty sleeping, aches and pains, and an impaired immune system leading to illness and other health problems.

The level of support you have around you, your personality, and your own levels of health and well-being can all play a role in how grief impacts you following bereavement. But no matter how much pain you’re in right now, it’s important to know that there are healthy ways to cope with the anguish and come to terms with your grief.

Grieving your Loss

Whatever your relationship to the person who has passed, it’s important to remember that we all grieve in different ways. Some people express their pain by crying, others never shed a tear—but that doesn’t mean they feel the loss any less. Grieving a loss takes time. 

The bereavement and mourning process can trigger many intense and unexpected emotions. But the pain of your grief won’t go away faster if you ignore it. In fact, trying to do so may only make things worse in the long run. To eventually find a way to come to terms with your loss, you’ll need to actively face the pain. As bereavement counselor and writer Earl Grollman put it, “The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

  • Allow Yourself to Feel
  • Grief Doesn’t Always Move Through Stages
  • Prepare For Painful Reminders
  • Moving On Doesn’t Mean Forgetting

Seek Support

When you lose someone you love, it’s normal to want to cut yourself off from others and retreat into your shell. But this is no time to be alone. Even when you don’t feel able to talk about your loss, simply being around other people who care about you can provide comfort and help ease the burden of bereavement.

Reaching out to those who care about you can also be an important first step on the road to healing. While some friends and relatives may be uncomfortable with your grief, plenty of others will be eager to lend support. Talking about your thoughts and feelings won’t make you a burden. Rather, it can help you make sense of your loved one’s death and find ways to honor their memory.

  • Lean On Friends and Family
  • Focus On Those Who Are “Good Listeners”
  • Join A Bereavement Support Group
  • Talk to Someone

Celebrate Your Loved One's Life

Rituals such as a funeral or memorial service can fulfill important functions, allowing you to acknowledge and reflect on the person’s passing, remember their life, and say goodbye. In the period after a funeral, however, your grief can often become even more intense. Often, other people may appear to have moved on, while you’re left struggling to make sense of your “new normal”.

Remembering your loved one doesn’t have to end with the funeral, though. Finding ways of celebrating the person you loved can help maintain their memory and provide comfort as you move through the grieving process.

  • Keep a journal or Write a letter
  • Continue doing things you did together
  • Remember your loved one in simple ways

Take Care of Yourself

When you’re grieving the death of a loved one, it’s easy to neglect your own health and welfare. But the stress, trauma, and intense emotions you’re dealing with at the moment can impact your immune system, affect your diet and sleep, and take a heavy toll on your overall mental and physical health.

Neglecting your well-being may even prolong the grieving process and make you more susceptible to depression or complicated grief. You’ll also find it harder to provide comfort to children or other vulnerable family members who are also grieving. However, there are simple steps you can take to nurture your health at this time.

  • Manage Stress
  • Spend Time in Nature
  • Pursue your Interests
  • Eat and Sleep Well